The Age of Snarkery II

The Age of Snarkery II
“Many things in the world have
not been named; and many things,
even if they have been named,
have never been described.”
—Susan Sontag, “Notes On "Camp"

The Age of Snarkery?

If Edith Wharton or Henry James were alive today—but then of course they aren’t.

But if their Snark sensibility were alive today—what kind of Novel would they write for this latest most decadent Gilded Age we’re living in?

Decadence is nothing new—Houses of Mirth rise and fall.

Ages of Innocence are nothing new—they come and go.

The Age of Snarkery—can the Novel form still do it?

The Blogosphere—the Snarkosphere.

So much has changed since James and Wharton.

And yet does their Snarkette sensibility still survive?

Is there still time for Snarkfest festivities and gaiety?

Or are we all Snarkbait—hors-d’oeuvres for the Snarkpit?

To snark a sensibility in words, especially one that is alive and powerful—one must be transgressive and fragmentary.

This form of snarkalicious notes, rather than an essay (with its claim to a linear, consecutive argument), seems more appropriate for discussing Snarkery and Literary Criticism.

It's embarrassing to be solemn and treatise-like about Snarkery.

One runs the risk of opening oneself up to being “snark bait,” i.e., being vulnerable to Snarkette criticism.

And there’s nothing worse than that…

The Snarkosphere will undoubtedly move beyond Snarkology 101—into more rarified literary realms like Snark Lit Crit and Stark Poetics.

Snarkblogs and Snarkpit Film Crit also show promise of great Snarkfest possibilities.

But what about now—this delicate time of snarkenfreude?

Snarkery is a sensibility—unmistakably postmodern, a variant of Camp but much more cynical.

Snarkery is one of the hardest things to talk about; but there are special reasons why Snarkery, in particular, has never been discussed much until lately.

Snarkery is like Gossip—it’s a natural mode of dishing people, usually behind their back.

Indeed the essence of Snarkery is its love of Gossip: Dirt, Dishing, Reading Beads, Innuendo, Trashing, etc. make up a spectrum sensibility within The Snarkosphere.

The Snarkosphere broke into American print during the Gilded Age—with such snarky exposés as Upton Sinclair’s Jungle and Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth.

Snarking Chicago cattle-yards is one thing—but surely to snark a decadent Gilded Age in all its exquisite Innocence, surely, that’s a completely different proposition?

Edith Wharton doesn’t seem to write and publish for self-edification—or to show off her modernist sensibility.

Wharton seems strongly drawn to Snarkery, and yet almost as strongly offended by it at the same time.

That’s why Snarkery is difficult to talk about.

For no one who wholeheartedly shares in a given sensibility can analyze it.

They can only, whatever their intention, snark it indirectly.

Novels are ways of snarking things—just like people do.

Each generation is Gilded—each generation lives in a Gilded Age.

But some Ages are more Snarky than others and that Age is now.

But then every Age is now, hmmm?

Each age is an Emperor in New Clothes—but don’t tell.

Don’t ask and don’t tell—whatever you do.

A snarky Ministry of Fear—silences of all.

Except for a few snarky Novelists like Wharton and James.

What would these two snide snarky snarklepuss snarklett snarkling snarkmooglie snarkolepsy authors say today?

“Don’t ask don’t tell?”

Of course, everyone knows this is impossible.

To discuss Snarkery—is to not discuss it.

Not directly anyway—but rather thru Fiction.

Snarkmeister writers like Wharton and James sketch the snarky contours of a decadent age and recount the snarky history of its rise and fall—indirectly thru tableaux vivant.

Tableaux vivant is a story within a story.

Like Gide’s The Counterfeiters—a snarky Journal embedded in a snarky Novel.

Such snarky mise-en-abyme slight-of-hands distance one story from the other—it saves time, money, energy and avoids the usual revulsion associated with “pressing the flesh” of those we despise, especially ourselves.

Snarkmeister authors like Wharton (House of Mirth), Shakespeare (Hamlet), West (The Day of the Locusts), Genet (Thief’s Journal), Gide (The Counterfeiters), Greene (The Ministry of Fear)—they all have used this snarky technique quite successfully down thru time.

Then, of course, there’s snarky killjoy Brecht who uses the technique to constantly and rudely jar the Audience with mise-en-abyme as a rude “distancing-effect”—such a tacky thing to do.

But then isn’t that what all Snarkette authoresses do?

They insert the dystopian dagger—twist it with a smile?

They lull the readers/audience into a lullaby swoon that merges two storylines seamlessly?

The two storylines being—you and me?

Snarkery is tableaux vivant—a story within a story.

It’s a mode of aestheticism—one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. (Yawn…)

Snark isn’t a spectrum—it’s more like a smorgasbord.

Hors-d’oeuvres may start with snark light (tackiness) and then progress thru a vast menu of gourmet delights: smarminess, ugliness, vulgarity, greed, shamelessness, coquettery, blackmail, dishing, bead-reading, etc..

Is there a Snark vision? A school or canon or genre or systemization for Snarkery?

Hardly, my dears. We’re flying by the seat of our pants.

We snark for ourselves—and strangers. (a la Stein)

Start using Urban Dictionary online.

It’s a good start for defining The Snarkosphere.

These words include: snark, snarkabratory, snarkalec, snarkalicious, Snarkanism, snarkasm, snarkastic, Snarkbait, snarkblog, Snarkdook, snarkel, snarkenfreude, snarker, snarkery, snarketing, snarkey, Snarkfest, snarkhole, snarky, snarkily, snarkin, snarking, snarking out, snarkinZ, snarkity, snarkle, snarklepuss, snarklett, snarkling, snarkmooglie, snarkolepsy, Snarkoleptic, Snarkology 101, snarkosaurus, Snarkpit, snarktastic, Snarktax, snarky, snarky-da.

The List will grow—that’s how language works.

I shan’t snark anything more for now…

No comments:

Post a Comment

So snark me!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Want Snark? Look Here!

1984 19th Century Literature 19th Century Poetry 2004 Election 2008 Election A Million Little Pieces Adolf Hitler Ads aerial hunting An Agony in 8 Fits An Agony in even more Fits Baby Quinn Bad poetry Bad Poetry Sites bailout Barack Obama Barack Obama Rules Barack Roll beat poetry Beijing Being Green Best American Poetry Bill Clinton Birthday Blaxploitation Bobby McFerrin boingboingtv browsers Campaign 2008 Car Czar cartoons Charles Wright Cheating Cherokee children Cindy McCain Classic Literature Classic Music cleave poetry CNN Cold War Songs comedy Comic compaign 2008 conspiracy theories Controversy cruise missile David Lehman Death Democratic Convention Democrats domaining Dr. Strangelove Ed Wood Edgar Allan Poe Election 2008 Election Night electrolytes Elvis Presley Ernie Kovacs Escape Ezra Pound Fail Safe fakery film Flying car Folktales George W. Bush Google Chrome GOP Gory films Hack domains Happy Face Hens high school films Hillary Clinton Holograms Home Movies household hacker Human rights humor Hunka Hunka Burning Love indiscretions infomercials Internet Jokes Internet Trolls Interview ipod Iraq irony mark Isaac Hayes Issac Hayes Jabberwocky James Frey Jen The Hen Jessica Yellin Jib Jab JibJab Jim Behrle Jim Morrison Joe Biden John Ashberry John Edwards John Kerry John McCain Jumping the snark Kama Sutra Keith Olbermann Kermit Lew Dite Lewis Carroll Libel lip-synching Mavericks Medium Cool Mental Insitution Michael Jackson Monster Movies Muppets Murder at Midnight Mushroom Clouds Music Video Napoleon XIV New Yorker newsflash nonsense poem Norway Nuclear Tests Nuclear Warhead Numa Numa Nursery Rhymes O-Zone Old Movies Olympics Onion and Gatorade Paris Hilton parody Paul Engle Plan 9 From Outer Space Po-biz poem Political Ads Political Pork Politics Psychological Testing pugetopolis puppets rap singer redneck poets Republican National Committee Republicans Rielle Hunter Riley Puckett Robert Louis Stevenson Roger Corman Sarah Palin satire seed poem Shaft Singing Canary Smog Snark as a verb Snark domains snark poetry snark research Snark Sailboat Snark Sites Snarkosphere soda bottle trick Spoof students T. S. Eliot Table of contents Ten Commandments of Bailout The Academy The Beatles The Bomb The Doors The Hens The Hunting of the Snark The Kingston Trio The Onion The Snark The Troll The Wicked Witch of the West They're Coming to Take Me Away ha ha Todd Palin Tributes Trolls Tuvok Updated Nursery Rhyme Vice President Candidate Vote Different Weird Al Yankovitch White wolf Wikipedia Wild Man Fischer William Wordsworth Wizard of Oz Writer's Weekly Yes we can YouTube